A Judgment for Solomon: The d’Hauteville Case and Legal by Michael Grossberg

By Michael Grossberg

A Judgment for Solomon tells the tale of the d'Hauteville case, a arguable baby custody conflict fought in 1840. It makes use of the tale of 1 couple's sour struggle over their son to discover a few timebound and undying good points of yankee felony tradition. This eagerly trial sparked a countrywide debate over the felony rights and tasks of mom and dad, husbands and other halves. The d'Hauteville case explains why renowned trials develop into "precedents of criminal experience"-- mediums for debates approximately hugely contested social matters. It additionally demonstrates the power of person men and women to give a contribution to criminal switch through turning to the legislation to struggle for what they wish.

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Additional info for A Judgment for Solomon: The d’Hauteville Case and Legal Experience in Antebellum America

Sample text

Her honor and reputation were now at stake. And for her, like so many women and men of her era, honor had to be protected at all costs. Yet Ellen had to balance concerns about tarnished honor with equally frightening fears about making the wrong marriage choice. Her experience of "marital trauma" revealed the emotional consequences of the new system of individual courtship system. The "freedom" to choose a mate for life made these courtship dilemmas difficult for all suitors, particularly women.

Nothing shall induce me to live with any one, where every tie of affection has been severed by conduct such as yours. " The world would, indeed, make such judgments very soon, but first Ellen continued her efforts at private bargaining. Like her father, she issued a warning backed, she assumed, by legal force: "Any effort to force the return of myself or my child, I assure you, will be useless. "64 Gonzalve refused to accept Ellen's dismissal just as he rejected her indictment. But her words wounded him.

He did so by injecting charges of mental cruelty into the dispute. Like many others who entered the law's shadows, David's assertion revealed how lay legal beliefs could foster legal claims. For David and countless other Americans, lay legal ideas about everything from marital rules to property rights served as a foundation for private claims. However, such popular legal beliefs did not always correspond with formal legal rules. Nevertheless, even though Entering the Law's Shadow 27 lay people and even professionals may misunderstand the exact letter of the law, they still conceived of it as an external force that could be used to wage disputes.

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